How To Treat Hyperpigmentation In Darker Skintones

Hyperpigmentation is the name given to dark patches of skin caused by excess melanin production. It’s a pretty common skin condition, but it can leave you feeling paranoid and concerned about your skin. Thankfully, there are a number of treatment options available, from clinical solutions through to products you can use at home.

We asked makeup artist and skincare expert, Amrita Mudan, to share her tips for treating hyperpigmentation. ‘The best way to treat hyperpigmentation would be at a treated clinic’, says Amrita. ‘It’s definitely the better option if you’re looking for complete removal and quick results, especially if the pigmentation is deep and something that affects your daily life.’

However, it’s not always an easy or affordable option to go for a professional treatment, and even after one, it’s important to maintain results with daily upkeep at home. ‘I’ve found improvement from chemically exfoliating – specifically mandelic and azelaic acids – and using retinol over a long period’, says Amrita. ‘Also make sure you wear SPF every day, especially if you’re a PoC, as hyperpigmentation occurs more due to an overproduction of melanin. It’s completely normal but can be exacerbated with skin picking, hormones, heat, friction, acne scarring and so many factors.’

Check out our list of at-home solutions.

The Ordinary Azelaic Acid Suspension 10%

The antibacterial ingredients in this lightweight gel-cream are specifically formulated to target dull and uneven skin. It works by destroying melanocytes, the skin cells that produce melanin and cause those brown spots we dread. All you need is a dab on any dark patches, and you’ll start to notice a difference within days of use.

Revolution Skincare Multi Acid Peeling Solution

Chemical Peels really are having their moment in the skincare spotlight, and the Multi Acid Peeling Solution by Revolution Skincare proves just why. Featuring 30% AHA and 1.5% BHA, this solution works by exfoliating away the top layer of your skin where the hyperpigmenation is darkest. With each layer that’s removed, the marks will appear faded, and will eventually disappear.

By BEAUTY BAY SkinHit Correcting Serum

Specifically designed to target the appearance of pigmentation, this concentrated, exfoliating serum uses an AHA (glycolic acid) and a PHA (gluconolactone) to gently exfoliate. It has the same impact as the treatment above but is formulated for daily use. 

Revolution Skincare 12.5% Vitamin C Super Serum

Anyone and every can (and should) incorporate vitamin C into their everyday skincare routine for some all-round skin brightening. The powerhouse antioxidant blocks the enzyme responsible for melanin production, helping to both treat and prevent dark spots.

The Ordinary Mandelic Acid 10% + HA

Although it’s another AHA, mandelic acid is a lot gentler than the well known glycolic acid. It works in the same way, by exfoliating to improve uneven skin tone and texture, but has smaller molecules that don’t penetrate as deep – making it ideal for more sensitive skin types that are prone to irritation. 

Formula 10.0.6 Picture Perfect Day

Wearing SPF daily is essential for all skin types and concerns, but is one of the best ways to treat and prevent hyperpigmentation, since it shields skin from the UV rays that trigger melanin production. This lightweight formula is easy to blend and won’t leave a white cast on darker skintones.

InstaNatural Retinol Serum

Retinol is mainly used to target signs of aging, but little did you know, it also works miracles on hyperpigmentation as it seeds up cell turnover and interferes with pigment production. We recommend adding it to your skincare regime gradually and building up to everyday usage over time, as it can be quite drying.